Happy Birthday to me.
In honor of the occaision, I will now give a gift to you and it's a good one, too - it's the family recipe for Baked Beans. Be warned: it's nowhere near healthy. In fact, it's frightening in many ways: carbohydrates, cholesterol, corn syrup, nitrites, sheer calorie count and of course, the Bean Effect. Nevertheless, these are the most delicious baked beans you will ever taste.
Cover 2 packages of dried Baby Lima Beans in water and let stand overnight. Drain and place beans into large mixing bowl. Cut 1/2 pound of bacon into 2" strips and brown it in a frying pan. Retain 2 tablespoons of bacon grease for the sauce.
Make a sauce out of 1 cup of ketchup, 1/2 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of dark Karo syrup, 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of bacon grease and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix into beans and place into a large deep casserole dish. Crumble the bacon and add that to the mixture.
Bake at 350 degreees for 2 hours. Let cool and store in the regrigerator overnight. Bake again the next day at 350 degrees for 2 hours. You may have to add more sauce, or at least more ketchup water. Before this final baking, sprinkle a little more brown sugar on the top.
I'm telling you - there beans are the bomb. (ha ha ha) You may encounter a bit of resistance when your guests see the baby lima beans in there instead of the boring little white bean, but the big meaty bite of the limas has two advantages: it gives this dish a substantial and satisfying texture and provides more surface to soak up and deliver the flavor.
By the way, all measurements listed here are fake. The only true measurement is 2 bags of beans. I use a whole pound of bacon and way more brown sugar. I add the ketchup until the sauce reaches the desired level of redness and then I tinker around by adding more of this or that until I sense that it is just right. So feel free to do your own ad libbing - you can't make this wrong. The real key to success here is the double baking with the resting time in between.
Also, I forgot to mention that yesterday was my 4 year blogiversary.